Ice Age Giants ★★½

It's partially my fault. By this point, I should know not to trust trailers. But for some reason, I honestly believed that what I saw in the trailer for Ice Age Giants was exactly what would be in the finished product. So I got excited. It showed nothing except for the actual beasts, which looked absolutely fantastic. There were no talking head interviews. No cutaways to fossils or drawings or charts. Just recreations of prehistoric life. It gave me hope that Ice Age Giants would be the best documentary about prehistoric life since Walking with Monsters. So naturally, I was pretty disappointed when I discovered that there are talking interviews. And cutaways to both fossils and drawings. And very few recreations of the lives of the ice age giants. That's not necessarily a huge detriment, but unfortunately, I've seen everything Ice Age Giants does done better in Walking with Prehistoric Beasts. Admittedly, Ice Age Giants is at a huge disadvantage due to its budget. While Walking with Prehistoric Beasts' large budget allowed for the use of both CGI and animatronics for an entire three hours, Ice Age Giants' considerably smaller budget kept it from consisting solely of recreations of prehistoric life. That's too bad, because the CGI is extremely convincing. It's not always 100% believable, but for the most part, I felt like I was watching real footage of the prehistoric giants. Unfortunately, the incredible effects and the epic score are the only highlights here. I know that I should judge Ice Age Giants as a standalone work, not in comparison to another documentary that covers the same ground, but I just couldn't help but think of how Walking with Prehistoric Beasts handled everything so much better. For example, in Ice Age Giants, to explain the use of the Smilodon's sabre teeth, they introduce us to some researcher or something, then cut from a talking head interview with him to a drawing of the infamous feline for about five minutes. In Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, they actually *show* Smilodons hunting and have the narrator give a short explanation. It takes no more than sixty seconds. It's quick. It's efficient. It's effective. Since my familiarity with the subject matter obviously subjectified my experience with Ice Age Giants, I can't really say for sure if it's bloated, inefficient, or ineffective in informing the audience. However, I can say for sure that that's how it felt to me. If Man of Steel hadn't been released this year, then this would probably be the biggest disappointment of 2013 for me.

Part of my Obscure October Project.